Andy Murray heads an expanded 16-strong shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, which is predictably dominated by Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic stars.
But there is no place for the triple Tour de France winner Chris Froome or Sir Bradley Wiggins, whose exploits in Rio made him the most decorated British athlete in Olympic history.
Murray, the favourite to win a third award, will again miss the awards ceremony in Birmingham on 18 December because he will be in Miami preparing for the Australian Open. The BBC’s decision to increase the shortlist from 12 names to 16 means a record number of gold medal-winning Olympians will be in attendance, including the triathlete Alistair Brownlee, the husband and wife cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny, the boxer Nicola Adams and the athlete Mo Farah. The gymnast Max Whitlock, the GB hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, the swimmer Adam Peaty and the showjumper Nick Skelton – who all also won gold medals in Rio – also make the list.
Paralympians are also well represented with Kadeena Cox, who won gold in cycling and athletics, the cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and the equestrian rider Sophie Christiansen all on the shortlist.
Only three names on the shortlist – the footballers Jamie Vardy and Gareth Bale and the Masters winner Danny Willett – are not Olympic or Paralympic gold medallists.
That means several big names miss out, including Froome, who won his third Tour de France title in July and Wiggins, whose successes in Rio have been overshadowed by questions about his use of therapeutic use exemptions before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro D’Italia.
They aren’t the only surprises, however. Alastair Cook, who became the first England batsman to pass 10,000 runs this summer, is also excluded along with Anthony Joshua, the charismatic Londoner who won a version of the world heavyweight title in January. None of England’s rugby union squad, who clinched their first Six Nations grand slam in 13 years and are now unbeaten in 13 matches, made the cut.
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